Nov 19, 2006

Mukhriz's Statement Was Not Right At All, Says Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 (Bernama) -- Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has hit out at Datuk Mukhirz Mahathir for saying that his keynote address at the Umno General Assembly 2006 offered nothing new.

"Well, he has said something which I thought was not right at all," he said in his first comment on the Umno Youth Exco member's statement that he (Mukhriz) was a "little bit" disappointed with the Wednesday speech and that it was similar to the speech delivered last year.

Abdullah said Umno Youth told him that Mukhriz's remark was not in keeping with the spirit of the resolution that Umno Youth had tabled, and they were also annoyed.

Asked on Mukhriz's position as exco member following his remark, Abdullah said he would leave it to Umno Youth to sort out the problem.

"But it is very clear that the statement made by Datuk Mukhriz has breached their rules," he said.

Asked whether he was worried that the public would not dare to criticise him for fear of being criticised in return, Abdullah, who is also Finance Minister, said: "Just now, some people spoke on the GLCs (government-linked companies), that's a criticism of me."

Asked whether he was still open to criticism, he said: "Why are you saying that I'm not open to criticism."

Pressed whether Mukhriz should resign following his statement, Abdullah said it was a matter for Mukhriz to decide, adding: "I don't decide for him".

Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said Thursday night that the movement absolved itself of any responsibility over Mukhriz's remarks adding that it was his personal stand and sentiment.

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